Every so often, you get a youth team signing which is largely unannounced, and generally lacking in great detail.
It’s the nature of the beast – clubs are understandably protective of their young, and of their actions at academy level.
However, news always eventually comes to light, and after a few months of uncertainty as to the strength of claims in the Portuguese media, it would seem that Chelsea have secured the signature of 17 year-old midfielder Buomesca Tué Na Bangna, most commonly known as Mesca.
Back in November, some Portuguese outlets claimed that Chelsea had taken Mesca on trial, and indeed signed him to play for their ‘junior team’. He was listed as a Chelsea player in national team squad lists, but it didn’t quite add up.
For his date of birth is May 6th 1993, which would have made him a first-year eligible scholar last season, and therefore if he was playing for the club, it would have been as an overage schoolboy in the Under-16 team.
Whether that happened or not is uncertain, but he certainly didn’t feature for Dermot Drummy’s Under-18 team, despite being of age to. Nonetheless, his name appeared in mid-May’s contract registration documents at the Football Association, lending credence to the reports.
For all intents and purposes, Mesca would seem to be a Blue.
Whilst we wait to find out exactly what his position is at the club, and if or when he’ll play, let’s take a look at what we know about him.
He comes from the Sporting Lisbon academy, a revered group which Chelsea have previously plundered. In 2005, Fabio Ferreira and Ricardo Fernandes joined on scholarships, but neither showed the ability to stay at the club long-term, leaving last summer.
At the same time they tried to sign Adrien Silva, who rejected the move and is now a first teamer at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Two summers ago, Fábio Paim signed on a season-long loan but despite very brief flashes of talent, his application and football intelligence were desperately low, and he too retreated back from whence he came.
So to the latest foray into the market. Mesca, like current Chelsea youngster Kaby, is of Portuguese residency but was born in Guinea-Bissau. It looks like he’s more of an attacking player but with so little information generally available it would be an uncertain claim to make.
Even if it proves to be so, Kaby arrived with the same reputation and has since transformed his game into that of a typical midfield terrier, and much to his credit.
Mesca was quoted after his winter trial as saying that he adapted well to English football, despite the cold weather, which is promising on many levels, if only in the main that he is actually playing for the club.
An interesting side story which may develop alongside this is Chelsea’s interest in his younger brother.
Armindo Bangna, who plays under the name of Bruma (to add to the confusion), won’t turn 16 until October but is a prolific goalscorer who shone at the European Under-17 Championships in Liechtenstein in May.
He is certainly on the club’s radar, but any interest right now remains just that, with nothing of substance reported.
It’s a situation where we’re all keen for more information, but what we have right now points in the direction of Mesca in London.
In which case, welcome aboard.